We probably first became enamored with the incredible works of prolific South African sculptor Dylan Lewis following his 2008 Predators and Prey urban outdoor sculpture installation that saw 23 of his life-size bronzes dotted around the streets of Stellenbosch. Widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost sculptors of the animal form, Lewis’ sculptures are all imbued with an incredible sense of captured fluidity and motion.

Born in 1964 and raised in an artistic family that included his father the sculptor and his mother the painter, Dylan initially began his career as a painter, before switching to sculpture where he has since gone on to garner most of his fame. His international career spans two decades and includes exhibitions in Paris, Sydney, Toronto, Houston and San Francisco, as well as numerous one-man exhibitions in London, where he is among the few living artists to have held solo auctions at Christie’s London.

Based with his family in Stellenbosch, Dylan Lewis accidentally started his epic sculpture garden back in 2009, when he hired an excavator to try to create a level play area for his children behind their house on the farm, and inspired by all that he could shape from the earth, ended up creating what would eventually become a 7 hectare sculpture garden that officially opened its doors to the public in 2017. Playing with the shapes and levels and drawing inspiration from nature and the Jungian notion of ‘the wilderness within‘, the ever shifting garden now features more than 60 sculptures constituting a comprehensive record of his artistic development, all carefully sited along 4 km of carefully planned pathways.

The simultaneously rugged but meticulously laid out garden is an incredible environmental experience to go through as you work your way along the suggested paths, discovering emerging themes and delights with each an every twisting and sometimes hidden corner. Twisted, evocative, powerful, in motion, and often towering above you, a powerful experience then for those invested in art and the emotions that they can convey, and most definitely well worth a visit – even in the rain.

There is a little coffee stop at the entrance if you need a space to sit down and discuss what you’ve just experienced with the rest of your party, but on this particular visit, because we didn’t have the kids hanging around us for a change, Chantelle and I ended up opting for something a little… sweeter on the day.

Related Link: Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden | Stellenbosch